Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council at its 159th session
(Beijing, 21 September 1996)

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Referring to the outline of the case, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/159/11(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 158th session (April 1996) concerning the case of Mr. Marc Atidépé, Mr. Tavio Amorin, members of the High Council of the Republic (HCR) of Togo, and Mr. Gaston Aziaduvo Edeh, a member of the Togolese Parliament,

Considering the communication from the Minister of Justice of Togo dated 6 June 1996,

Taking into consideration the information and observations provided by the President of the National Assembly and a member of the Togolese delegation at the hearings held on the occasion of the 96th Inter-Parliamentary Conference (Beijing, September 1996),

Recalling that Mr. Atidépé and Mr. Amorin, both members of the High Council of the Republic of Togo, the former transitional legislative body, were assassinated in May and July 1992, respectively; recalling that Mr. Edeh, MP-elect, was murdered in February 1994 when kidnapped together with two other members of his party from a car by military personnel, and that their charred bodies were later discovered in a car on the outskirts of Lomé; recalling in this respect, that one of the persons kidnapped managed to escape and is thus capable of recognizing the authors of the crime; that, however, he has never been required to testify,

Recalling that, in September 1994, the then Prime Minister affirmed that no effort would be spared "in seeing that the authors and accessories of these crimes are found and tried in accordance with the law"; considering that the authorities have consistently affirmed that investigations into these crimes are under way although they have not reported any investigative action or results obtained,

Considering that in his letter of 6 June 1996 the Minister of Justice informed the Committee that the investigations into the three assassinations had been dropped and the respective files closed in accordance with Article 2 of the Amnesty Law N° 94-004/PR of 22 December 1994, which stipulates that "the benefit of the amnesty shall also extend to all political and politically motivated offences covered by penal law committed prior to 15 December 1994",

Recalling that the amnesty law was voted in the absence of part of the opposition which, according to the authorities, had some time previously decided to suspend its participation in Parliament,

Considering that on 6 March 1996 the Government of Togo submitted a written report to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on the subject of the "right to restitution, compensation and rehabilitation for victims of grave violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms", in which it stated that the Togolese authorities were pursuing a series of measures aimed at taking into consideration the question of the right to restitution, compensation and rehabilitation,

Considering that, according to a member of the Togolese delegation, the amnesty law should be complemented by a legal and institutional framework providing for due compensation of the victims of human rights violations covered by the amnesty law; that relevant draft legislation could be introduced by legislators themselves, by the Minister for Human Rights or by the Minister of Justice,

Considering that the President of the National Assembly also emphasized the need for such legislation and gave every assurance that all parliamentary groups, including his own, would fully support any such draft legislation submitted to Parliament by any parliamentary group; that, however, his group would not take the initiative of presenting such a draft,

  1. Thanks the President of the National Assembly and the President of the CAR (Renewal Action Committee) parliamentary group for their co-operation and the observations they were prepared to share with the Committee;

  2. Also thanks the Minister of Justice for the information he has provided;

  3. Deplores the fact that because of the amnesty law the investigations have had to be dropped, whereas the authorities had given constant assurances during the 18 months following the adoption of the law that serious investigations were being carried out into the three assassinations;

  4. Notes that, by invoking Article 2 of the Amnesty Law as justification for dropping the investigations, the Togolese authorities now acknowledge that the assassinations of Mr. Atidépé, Mr. Amorin and Mr. Edeh were "political or politically motivated crimes";

  5. Reaffirms its belief that an amnesty concerning politically motivated crimes and designed to foster national reconciliation and peace should obtain a broad consensus and have the consent of the entire opposition;

  6. Stresses in this respect the general human rights principle that victims of violations of their human rights have the right to know the truth, the right to justice and the right to reparation, without which there can be no just and lasting reconciliation;

  7. While deeply regretting that neither will the truth be established nor justice rendered with respect to the assassination of the three Parliamentarians, notes, however, that the Government of Togo, in the written report it submitted in March 1996 to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, committed itself to adopting measures to take into consideration the right to compensation of the families of the victims;

  8. Considers that the question of reparation cannot be satisfactorily addressed in an ad hoc manner but in accordance with a legal and institutional framework to be adopted by Parliament;

  9. Calls on the members of the National Assembly of Togo to make use of their prerogatives to ensure that relevant legislation is introduced and voted;

  10. Welcomes the fact that the Togolese delegation to the 96th Inter-Parliamentary Conference, composed of all parliamentary groups, has expressed its will to ensure that the necessary initiatives are taken and followed through;

  11. Requests the Secretary General to convey these considerations to the President of the National Assembly;

  12. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to pursue the examination of this case and report to it at its next session (April 1997).

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